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Full text of "The day of the dog. With illustrations by Harrison Fisher and decorations by Margaret & Helen Maitland Armstrong"

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SWALLOW. 




Published March, 1904 



PS 
3 rag 



^1 




SWALLOW (in color) Frontispiece 

PAGE 

CROSBY DRIVES TO THE STATION 9 

THE HANDS HAD GONE TO THEIR DINNER . . I4 

THE BIG RED BARN 18 

THE TWO BOYS 27 

MRS. DELANCY AND MRS. AUSTIN 34 

MR. AUSTIN 41 

MRS. DELANCY PLEADS WITH SWALLOW ... 48 

THEY EXAMINE THE DOCUMENTS 53 

"she DELIBERATELY SPREAD OUT THE PAPERS 

ON THE beam" (in color) . . . Facing 56 

SWALLOW 64 

SHE WATCHES HIM DESCEND INTO DANGER . . 72 

MR. CROSBY SHOWS SWALLOW A NEW TRICK . . 76 
"swallow's CHUBBY BODY SHOT SQUARELY 
THROUGH THE OPENING" (iN COLOR) 

Facing So 

THE MAN WITH THE LANTERN 87 

MR. HIGGINS 94 




PAGE 

"he was splashing thkough the shallow 
brook" (in color) Facing 96 

HE CARRIES HER OVER THE BROOK 97 

MRS. HIGGINS 98 

THEY ENJOY MRS. HIGGINS's GOOD SUPPER . . lOI 

LONESOMEVILLE 105 

THE DEPUTY SHERIFF . I23 

CROSBY AND THE DEPUTY I29 

MRS. DELANCY FALLS ASLEEP 133 

THEY GO TO THE THE.VIRE 134 

"'good heavens!' 'what is IT?' HE CRIED. 
'you ARE NOT MARRIED, ARE YOU?'" 

(in color) Facing 134 

"CROSBY WON both SUITS" 137 



THE DAY OF THE DOG 



PART I 



"I'll catch the first train back this even- 
ing, Graves. Wouldn't go down there if it 
were not absolutely necessary ; but I have 
just heard that Mrs. Delancy is to leave for 
New York to-night, and if I don't see her 
to-day there will be a pack of troublesome 
complications. Tell Mrs. Graves she can 
count me in on the box party to-night." 

"We'll need you, Crosby. Don't miss . 
the train." I 



10 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

"1*11 be at the station an hour before the 
train leaves. Confound it, it*s a mean trip 
down there — three hours through the rank- 
est kind of scenery and three hours back. 
She's visiting in the country, too, but I can 
drive out and back in an hour." 

"On your life, old man, don't fail me." 

"Don't worry. Graves ; all Christendom 
couldn't keep me in Dexter after four 
o'clock this afternoon. Good-by." And 
Crosby climbed into the hansom and was 
driven away at breakneck speed toward the 
station. 

Crosby was the junior member of the law 
firm of Rolfe & Crosby, and his trip to the 
country was on business connected with the 
settlement of a big estate. Mrs. Delancy, 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 11 

widow of a son of the decedent, was one of 
the legatees, and she was visiting her sister- 
in-law, Mrs. Robert Austin, in central 
Illinois. Mr. Austin owned extensive farm- 
ing interests near Dexter, and his hand- 
some home was less than two miles from the 
heart of the town. Crosby anticipated no 
trouble in driving to the house and back in 
time to catch the afternoon train for 
Chicago. It was necessary for Mrs. De- 
lancy to sign certain papers, and he was 
confident the transaction could not occupy 
more than half an hour's time. 

At 11 :30 Crosby stepped from the coach 
to the station platform in Dexter, looked 
inquiringly about, and then asked a per- 
spiring man with a star on his suspender- 




12 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

strap where he could hire a horse and buggy. 
The officer directed him to a "feed-yard and 
stable," but observed that there was a 
"funeral in town an' he'd be lucky if he got 
a rig, as all of Smith's horses were out." 
Application «t the stable brought the first 
frown to Crosby's brow. He could not rent 
a "rig" until after the funeral, and that 
would make it too late for him to catch the 
four o'clock train for Chicago. To make 
the story short, twelve o'clock saw him 
trudging along the dusty road covering 
the two miles between town and Austin's 
place, and he was walking with the rapidity 
of one who has no love for the beautiful. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 13 

The early spring air was invigorating, and 
it did not take him long to reduce the dis- 
tance. Austin's house stood on a hill, far 
back from the highway, and overlooking 
the entire country-side. 

The big red barn stood in from the road 
a hundred yards or more, and he saw that 
the same driveway led to the house on the 
hill. There was no time for speculation, so 
he hastily made his way up the lane. Cros- 
by had never seen his client, their business 
having been conducted by mail or through 
Mr. Rolfe. There was not a person in 
sight, and he slowed his progress considera- 
bly as he drew nearer the big house. At 




14 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



the barn-yard gate he came to a full stop 
and debated within himself the wisdom of 
inquiring at the stables for Mr. Austin. 

He flung open the gate and strode 
quickly to the door. This he opened boldly 
and stepped inside, finding himself in a 
lofty carriage room. Several handsome 
vehicles stood at the far end, but the wide 
space near the door was clear. The floor 
was as "clean as a pin," except along the 
west side. No one was in sight, and the 
only sound was that produced by the horses 
as they munched their hay and stamped 
their hoofs in impatient remonstrance with 
the flies. 

"Where the deuce are the people?" he 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 16 



muttered as he crossed to the mangers. 
"Devihsh qiieer," glancing about in con- 
siderable doubt. "The hands must be at 
dinner or taking a nap." He passed by a 
row of mangers and was calmly inspected 
by brown-eyed horses. At the end of the 
long row of stalls he found a little gate 
opening into another section of the barn. 
He was on the point of opening this gate 
to pass in among the horses when a low 
growl attracted his attention. In some 
alarm he took a precautionary look ahead. 
On the opposite side of the gate stood a 
huge and vicious looking bulldog, un- 
chained and waiting for him with an eager 
ferocity that could not be mistaken. Mr. 
Crosby did not open the gate. Instead he 




16 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



inspected it to see that it was securely 
fastened, and then drew his hand across his 
brow. 

"What an escape!" he gasped, after a 
long breath. "Lucky for me you growled, 
old boy. My name is Crosby, my dear sir, 
and I'm not here to steal anything. I'm 
only a lawyer. Anybody else at home but 
you?" 

An ominous growl was the answer, and 
there was lurid disappointment in the face 
of the squat figure beyond the gate. 

"Come, now, old chap, don't be nasty. 
I won't hurt you. There was nothing far- 
ther from my mind than a desire to disturb 
you. And sa}^, please do something besides 
growl. Bark, and oblige me. You may 
attract the attention of some one." 





THE DAY OF THE DOG 17 



By this time the ugly brute was trying 
to get at the man, growling, and snarling 
savagely. Crosby complacently looked on 
from his place of safety for a moment, and 
was on the point of turning away when his 
attention was caught by a new move on the 
part of the dog. The animal ceased his 
violent efforts to get through the gate, 
turned about deliberately, and raced from 
view behind the horse stalls. Crosby 
brought himself up with a jerk. 

"Thunder," he ejaculated; "the brute 
knows a way to get at me, and he won't be 
long about it, either. What the dickens 
shall I — by George, this looks serious ! 
He'll head me off at the door if I try to get 
out and — Ah, the fire-escape! We'll fool 
you, you brute ! What a cursed idiot I was 





18 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



not to go to the house instead of coming — " 
He was shinning up a ladder with Httle re- 
gard for grace as he mumbled this self- 
condemnatory remark. There was little 
dignity in his manner of flight, and there 
was certainly no glory in the position in 
which he found himself a moment later. 
But there was a vast amount of satisfac- 
tion. 

The ladder rested against a beam that 
crossed the carriage shed near the middle. 
The beam was a large one, hewn from a 
monster tree, and was free on all sides. The 
ladder had evidently been left there by men 
who had used it recently and had neglected 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 19 

to return it to the hooks on which it prop- 
erly hung. 

When the dog rushed violently through 
the door and into the carriage room, he 
found a vast and inexplicable solitude. He 
was, to all appearances, alone with the vehi- 
cles under which he was permitted to trot 
when his master felt inclined to grant the 
privilege. 

Crosby, seated on the beam, fifteen feet 
above the floor, grinned securely but some- 
what dubiously as he watched the mystified 
dog below. At last he laughed aloud. He 
could not help it. The enemy glanced up- 
ward and blinked his red eyes in surprise; 
then he stared in deep chagrin, then glared 




20 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

with rage. For a few minutes Crosby 
watched his frantic efforts to leap through 
fifteen feet of altitudinal space, confidently 
hoping that some one would come to drive 
the brute away and liberate him. Finally 
he began to lose the good humor his strat- 
egy in fooling the dog had inspired, and a 
hurt, indignant stare was directed toward 
the open door through which he had 
entered. 

"What's the matter with the idiots.?" he 
growled impatiently. "Are they going to 
let this poor dog snarl his lungs out.f* He's 
a faithful chap, too, and a willing worker. 
Gad, I never saw anything more earnest 
than the way he tries to climb up that lad- 
der." Adjusting himself in a comfortable 
position, his elbows on his knees, his hands 
to his chin, he allowed his feet to swing 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 21 

lazily, tantalizingly, below the beam. "I'm 
putting a good deal of faith in this beam," 
he went on resignedly. The timber was at 
least fifteen inches square. 

"Ah, by George! That was a bully 
jump — the best you've made. You didn't 
miss me more than ten feet that time. I 
don't like to be disrespectful, you know, but 
you are an exceedingly rough looking dog. 
Don't get huffy about it, old fellow, but 
you have the ugliest mouth I ever saw. 
Yes, you miserable cur, politeness at last 
ceases to be a virtue with me. If I had you 
up here I'd punch your face for you, too. 
Why don't you come up, you coward? 
You're bow-legged, too, and you haven't 
any more figure than a crab. Anybody 
that would take an insult like that is be- 
neath me (thank heaven!) and would steal 



22 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

sheep. Great Scott! Where arc all these 
people? Shut up, jou brute, you! I'm 
getting a headaclie. But it doesn't do any 
good to reason with you, I can see that 
plainly. The thing I ought to do is to go 
down there and punish you severely. But 

ril— Hello! Hey, boy! Call off this 

confounded dog." 

Two small Lord Fauntleroy boys were 
standing in the door, gazing up at him 
with wide open mouths and bulging eyes. 

"Call him off, I say, or I'll come down 
there and kick a hole clear through him." 
The boys stared all the harder. "Is your 
name Austin.'*" he demanded, addressing 
neither in particular. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 23 

"Yes, sir,'' answered the larger boy, 
with an effort. 

"Well, where's your father? Shut up, 
you brute ! Can't you see I'm talking ? Go 
tell your father I want to see him, boy." 

"Dad's up at the house." 

"That sounds encouraging. Can't you 

call off this dog.?" 

"I— I guess I'd better not. That's what 

dad keeps him for." 

"Oh, he does, eh? And what is it that 
he keeps him for.'"' 

"To watch tramps." 

"To watch — to watch tramps? Say, 
boy, I'm a lawyer and I'm here on busi- 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 



ness." He was black in the face with in- 
dignation. 

"You better come up to the house and 
see dad, then. He don't hvc in the barn," 
said the boy keenly. 

"I can't fly to the house, boy. Say, if 
you don't call off^ this dog I'll put a bullet 
through him.'* 

"You'd have to be a purty good shot, 
mister. Nearly everybody in the county 
has tried to do it." Both boys were grin- 
ning diabolically and the dog took on en- 
ergy through inspiration. Crosby longed 
for a stick of dynamite. 

'I'll give you a dollar if you get him 
away from here." 

"Let's see your dollar." Crosby drew a 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 25 



silver dollar from his trousers pocket, 
almost falling from his perch in the 
effort. 

"Here's the coin. Call him off," gasped 
the lawyer. 

"I'm afraid papa wouldn't like it," said 
the boy. The smaller lad nudged his 
brother and urged him to "take the money 
anyhow." 

"I live in Chicago," Crosby began, hop- 
ing to impress the boys at least. 

"So do we when we're at home," said the 
smaller boy. "We live in Chicago in the 
winter time." 

"Is Mrs. Delancy your aunt.'"' 

"Yes, sir." 

'I'll give you this dollar if you'll tell 




26 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

jour father I'm here and want to see him 
at once." 

"Throw down your dollar." The coin 
fell at their feet but rolled deliberately 
through a crack in the floor and was lost 
forever. Crosby muttered something unin- 
telligible, but resignedly threw a second 
coin after the first. 

"He'll be out when he gets through din- 
ner," said the older boy, just before the 
fight. Two minutes later he was streaking 
across the bam lot with the coin in his 
pocket, the smaller boy wailing under the 
woe of a bloody nose. For half an hour 
Crosby heaped insult after insult upon the 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 27 

glowering dog at the bottom of the ladder 
and was in the midst of a rabid denuncia- 
tion of Austin when the city-bred farmer 
entered the barn. 

"Am I addressing Mr. Robert Austin.'*" 
called Crosby, suddenly amiable. The dog 
subsided and ran to his master's side. Aus- 
tin, a black-moustached, sallow-faced man 
of forty, stopped near the door and looked 
aloft, squinting. 

"Where are you.'"' he asked somewhat 
sharply. 

"I am very much up in the air," replied 
Crosby. "Look a little sou' by sou'east. 
Ah, now you have me. Can you manage 
the dog.^* If so, I'll come down." 



28 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

"One moment, please. Who are you ?" 

"My name is Crosby, of Rolfe & Crosby, 
Chicago. I am here to see Mrs. Delancy, 
your sister-in-law, on business before she 
leaves for New York." 

"What is your business with her, may I 
ask?" 

"Private," said Crosby laconically. 
"Hold the dog." 

"I insist in knowing the nature of your 
business," said Austin firmly. 

"I'd rather come down there and talk, if 
you don't mind." 

"I don't but the dog may," said the 
other grimly. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 29 

"Well, this is a nice way to treat a gen- 
tleman," cried Crosby wrathfully. 

"A gentleman would scarcely have ex- 
pected to find a lady in the barn, much less 
on a cross-beam. This is where my horses 
and dogs live." 

"Oh, that's all right now; this isn't a 
joke, you know." 

"I quite agree with you. What is your 
business with Mrs. Delancy.'"' 

"We represent her late husband's inter- 
ests in settling up the estate of his father. 
Your wife's interests are being looked after 
by Morton & Rogers, I believe. I am here 
to have Mrs. Delancy go through the form 




30 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

of signing papers authorizing us to bring 
suit against the estate in order to establish 
certain rights of which you are fully aware. 
Your wife's brother left his affairs slightly 
tangled, you remember." 

"Well, I can save you a good deal of 
trouble. Mrs. Delancy has decided to let 
the matter rest as it is and to accept the 
compromise terms offered by the other heirs. 
She will not care to see yoxiy for she has just 
written to your firm announcing her deci- 
sion. 

"You — you don't mean it," exclaimed 
Crosby in dismay. He saw a prodigious fee 
slipping through his fingers. "Gad, I must 
see her about this," he went on, starting 
down the ladder, only to go back again 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 31 

hastily. The growhng dog leaped forward 
and stood ready to receive him. Austin 
chuckled audibly. 

"She really can't see you, Mr. Crosby. 
Mrs. Delancy leaves at four o'clock for 
Chicago, where she takes the Michigan Cen- 
tral for New York to-night. You can gain 
nothing by seeing her." 

"But I insist, sir," exploded Crosby. 

"You may come down when you like," 
said Austin. "The dog will be here until I 
return from the depot after driving her 
over. Come down when you like." 

Crosby did not utter the threat that 
surged to his lips. With the wisdom born 
of self-preservation, he temporized, reserv- 
ing deep down in the surging young breast 




32 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

a promise to amply recompense his pride 
for the blows it was receiving at the hands 
of the detestable Mr. Austin. 

"You'll admit that I'm in a devil of a 
pickle, Mr. Austin," he said jovially. "The 
dog is not at all friendly." 

"He is at least diverting. You won't be 
lonesome while I'm away. I'll tell Mrs. 
Delancy that you called," said Austin iron- 
ically. 

He turned to leave the barn, and the sin- 
ister sneer on his face gave Crosby a new 
and amazing inspiration. Like a flash 
there rushed into his mind the belief that 
Austin had a deep laid design in not per- 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 33 

mitting him to see the lady. With this 
belief also came the conviction that he was 
hurrying her off to New York on some 
pretext simply to forestall any action that 
might induce her to continue the contem- 
plated suit against the estate. Mrs. De- 
lancy had undoubtedly been urged to drop 
the matter under pressure of promises, and 
the Austins were getting her away from the 
scene of action before she could reconsider 
or before her solicitors could convince her 
of the mistake she was making. The 
thought of this sent the fire of resentment 
racing through Crosby's brain, and he fair- 
ly gasped with the longing to get at the 




34 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



bottom of the case. His only hope now lay 
in sending a telegram to Mr. Rolfe, com- 
manding him to meet Mrs. Delancy when 
her train reached Chicago, and to lay the 
whole matter before her. 

Before Austin could make his exit the 
voices of women were heard outside the door 
and an instant later two ladies entered. The 
farmer attempted to turn them back, but 
the younger, taller, and slighter of the new- 
comers cried : 

"I just couldn't go without another look 
at the horses. Bob." 

Crosby, on the beam, did not fail to ob- 
serve the rich, tender tone of the voice, and 
it would have required almost total dark- 
ness to obscure the beauty of her face. Her 
companion was older and coarser, and he 




H-.AV-A. 



THE DAY OF THE DOG 35 

found delight in the belief that she was the 
better half of the disagreeable Mr. Austin. 

"Good-afternoon, Mrs. Delancy !" came 
a fine masculine voice from nowhere. The 
ladies started in amazement, Mr. Austin 
ground his teeth, the dog took another tired 
leap upward; Mr. Crosby took off his hat 
gallantly, and waited patiently for the 
lady to discover his whereabouts. 

"Who is it, Bob?" cried the tall one, and 
Crosby patted his bump of shrewdness 
happily. "Who have you in hiding here.'"' 

"I'm not in hiding, Mrs. Delancy. I'm 
a prisoner, that's all. I'm right near the 
top of the ladder directly in front of you. 
You know me only through the mails, but 
my partner, Mr. Rolfe, is known to you per- 
sonally. My name is Crosby." 

"How very strange," she cried in won- 




36 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



der. "Why don't you come down, Mr. 
Crosby?" 

"I hate to admit it, but I'm afraid. 
There's the dog, you know. Have you any 
influence over him.'*" 

"None whatever. He hates me. Per- 
haps Mr. Austin can manage him. Oh, 
isn't it ludicrous?" and she burst into 
hearty laughter. It was a very musical 
laugh, but Crosby considered it a disagree- 
able croak. 

"But Mr. Austin declines to interfere. I 
came to see you on private business and am 
not permitted to do so." 

"We don't know this fellow, Louise, and 
I can't allow you to talk to him," said 
Austin brusquely. "I found him where he 
is and there he stays until the marshal 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 37 



comes out from town. His actions have 
been very suspicious and must be investi- 
gated. I can't take chances on letting a 
horse thief escape. Swallow will watch him 
until I can secure assistance." 

"I implore you, Mrs. Delancy, to give 
me a moment or two in which to explain," 
cried Crosby. "He knows I'm not here to 
steal his horses, and he knows I intend to 
punch his head the minute I get the 
chance." Mrs. Austin's little shriek of dis- 
may and her husband's fierce glare did not 
check the flov/ of language from the beam. 
"I am Crosby of Rolfe & Crosby, your 
counsel. I have the papers here for you to 
sign and " 

"Louise, I insist that you come away 
from here. This fellow is a fraud- 




38 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

"He's refreshing, at any rate," said Mrs. 
Dclancy gaily. "There can be no harm in 
hearing what he has to say, Bob." 

"You are very kind, and I won't detain 
you long." 

"I've a mind to kick you out of this 
barn," cried Austin angrily. 

"I don't believe you're tall enough, my 
good fellow." Mr. Crosby was more than 
amiable. He was positively genial. Mrs. 
Delancy's pretty face was the picture of 
eager, excited mirth, and he saw that she 
was determined to see the comedy to the end. 

"Louise!" exclaimed Mrs. Austin, speak- 
ing for the first time. "You are not fool 
enough to credit this fellow's story, I'm 



THE DAY OF THE DOG 39 

sure. Come to the house at once. I will not 
stay here." Mrs. Austin's voice was hard 
and biting, and Crosby also caught the 
quick glance that passed between husband 
and wife. 

"I am sure Mrs. Delancy will not be so 
unkind as to leave me after I've had so much 
trouble in getting an audience. Here is my 
card, Mrs. Delancy." Crosby tossed a card 
from his perch, but Swallow gobbled it up 
instantly. Mrs. Delancy gave a little cry 
of disappointment, and Crosby promptly 
apologized for the dog's greediness. "Mr. 
Austin knows I'm Crosby," he concluded. 

"I know nothing of the sort, sir, and I 
forbid Mrs. Delancy holding further con- 



40 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



versation with you. This is an outrageous 
imposition, Louise. You must hurry, by 
the way, or we'll miss the train," said 
Austin, biting his lip impatiently. 

"That reminds me, I also take the four 
o'clock train for Chicago, Mrs. Delancey. 
If you prefer, we can talk over our affairs 
on the train instead of here. I'll confess 
this isn't a very dignified manner in which 
to hold a consultation," said Crosby apolo- 
getically. 

"Will you be kind enough to state the 
nature of your business, Mr. Crosby.'"' said 
the young woman, ignoring Mr. Austin. 

"Then you believe I'm Crosby.'*" cried 
that gentleman triumphantly. 

"Louise!" cried Mrs. Austin in despair. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 41 



"In spite of your present occupation, I 
believe you are Crosby," said Mrs. Delancy 
merrily. 

"But, good gracious, I can't talk busi- 
ness with you from this confounded beam," 
he cried lugubriously. 

"Mr. Austin will call the dog away," she 
said confidently, turning to the man in the 
door. Austin's sallow face lighted with a 
sudden malicious grin, and there was posi- 
tive joy in his voice. 

"You may be satisfied, but I am not. If 
you desire to transact business with this 
impertinent stranger, Mrs. Delancy, you'll 
have to do so under existing conditions. I 
do not approve of him or his methods, and 
my dog doesn't either. You can trust a 




42 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

dog for knowing a man for what he is. 
Mrs. Austin and I are going to the house. 
You may remain, oj" course ; I have no right 
to command you to follow. When you are 
ready to drive to the station, please come to 
the house. I'll be ready. Your Mr. Crosby 
may leave when he likes — if he can. Come, 
Elizabeth." With this defiant thrust, Mr. 
Austin stalked from the barn, followed by 
his wife. Mrs. Delancy started to follow 
but checked herself immediately, a flush of 
anger mounting to her brow. After a long 
pause she spoke. 

"I don't understand how you came to be 
where you arc, Mr. Crosby," she said 
slowly. He related his experiences rapidly 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 43 

and laughed with her simply because she 
had a way with her. 

"You'll pardon me for laughing," she 
giggled. 

"With all my heart," he replied gal- 
lantly. "It must be very funny. How- 
ever, this is not business. You are in a 
hurry to get away from here and — I'm not, 
it seems. Briefly, Mrs. Delancy, I have the 
papers you are to sign before we begin your 
action against the Fairwater estate. You 
know what they are through Mr. Rolfe." 

"Well, I'm sorry, Mr. Crosby, to say to 
you that I have decided to abandon the mat- 
ter. A satisfactory compromise is under 
way." 




44 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

"So I've been told. But are you sure you 
understand yourself?" 

"Perfectly, thank you." 

"This is a very unsatisfactory place from 
which to argue my case, Mrs. Delancy. 
Can't you dispose of the dog.?" 

"Only God disposes." 

"Well, do you mind telling me what the 
compromise provides.'"' She stared at him 
for a moment haughtily, but his smile won 
the point for him. She told him everything 
and then looked very much displeased when 
he swore distinctly. 

"Pardon me, but you are getting very 
much the worst of it in this deal. It is the 
most contemptible scheme to rob that I ever 
heard of. By this arrangement you are to 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 45 

get farming lands and building lots in rural 
towns worth in all about $100,000, I'd say. 
Don't you know that you are entitled to 
nearly half a million?" 

"Oh, dear, no. By right, my share is 
less than $75,000," she cried triumphantly. 

"Who told you so?" he demanded, and 
she saw a very heavy frown on his erstwhile 
merry face. 

"Why — ^why, Mr. Austin and another 
brother-in-law, Mr. Gray, both of whom are 
very kind to me in the matter, I'm sure." 

"Mrs. Delancy, you are being robbed by 
these fellows. Can't you see that these 
brothers-in-law and their wives will profit 
immensely if they succeed in keeping the 
wool over your eyes long enough? Let me 




46 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

show you some figures." He excitedly 
drew a packet of papers from his pocket 
and in five minutes' time had her gasping 
with the knowledge that she was legally 
entitled to more than half a million of 
dollars. 

"Are you sure.?" she cried, unable to be- 
lieve her ears. 

"Absolutely. Here is the inventory and 
here are the figures to corroborate every- 
thing I say." 

"But they had figures, too," she cried in 
perplexity. 

"Certainly. Figures are wonderful 
things. I only ask you to defer this plan 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 47 

to compromise until we are able to thor- 
oughly convince you that I am not mis- 
representing the facts to you." 

"Oh, if I could only believe you !" 

"I'd toss the documents down to you if 
I were not afraid they'd join my card. 
That is a terribly ravenous beast. Surely 
you can coax him out of the barn," he added 
eagerly. 

"I can try, but persuasion is difficult with 
a bulldog, you know," she said doubtfully. 
"It is much easier to persuade a man," she 
smiled. 

"I trust you won't try to persuade me to 
come down," he said in alarm. 




48 THE DAY OF THE DOG 




"Mr. Austin is a brute to treat you in 
this manner," she cried indignantly. 

"I wouldn't treat a dog as he is treating 
me." 

"Oh, I am sure you couldn't," she cried 
in perfect sincerity. "Swallow doesn't like 
me, but I'll try to get him away. You can't 
stay up there all night." 

"By Jove!" he exclaimed sharply. 

"What is it?" she asked quickly. 

"I had forgotten an engagement in Chi- 
cago for to-night. Box party at the 
comic opera," he said, looking nervously at 
his watch. 

"It would be too bad if you missed it," 
she said sweetly. "You'd be much more 
comfortable in a box." 



THE DAY OF THE DOG 49 



*'You are consoling at least. Are you 
going to coax him off?" 

"In behalf of the box party, I'll try. 
Come, Swallow. There's a nice doggie !" 

Crosby watched the proceedings with 
deepest interest and concern and not a little 
admiration. But not only did Swallow re- 
fuse to abdicate but he seemed to take de- 
cided exceptions to the feminine method of 
appeal. He evidently did not like to be 
called "doggie," "pet," "dearie," and all 
such. 

"He won't come," she cried plaintively. 

"I have it!" he exclaimed, his face 
brightening. "Will you hand me that 
three-tined pitchfork over there.? With 
that in my hands I'll make Swallow see 
Look out ! For heaven's sake, don't go near 




50 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

him ! He'll Icill you." She had taken two 
or three steps toward the dog, her hand ex- 
tended pleadingly, only to be met by an 
ominous growl, a fine display of teeth, and 
a bristling back. As if paralyzed, she 
halted at the foot of the ladder, terror sud- 
denly taking possession of her. 

"Can you get the pitchfork ?" 

"I am afraid to move," she moaned. "He 
is horrible — horrible !" 

"I'll come down, Mrs. Delancy, and hang 
the consequences," Crosby cried, and was 
suiting the action to the word when she 
cried out in remonstrance. 

"Don't come down— don't! He'll kill 
you. I forbid you to come down, Mr. 
Crosby. Look at him! Oh, he's coming 
toward me! Don't come down!" she 
shrieked. "I'll come up!" 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 51 



Grasping her skirts with one hand she 
started frantically up the ladder, her terri- 
fied eyes looking into the face of the man 
above. There was a vicious snarl from the 
dog, a savage lunge, and then something 
closed over her arm like a vice. She felt 
herself being jerked upward and a second 
later she was on the beam beside the flushed 
young man whose strong hand and not the 
dog's jaws had reached her first. He was 
obliged to support her for a few minutes 
with one of his emphatic arms, so near was 
she to fainting. 

"Oh," she gasped at last, looking into his 
eyes questioningly. "Did he bite me? I 
was not sure, you know. He gave such an 
awful leap for me. How did you do it.''" 

"A simple twist of the wrist, as the 
prestidigitators say. You had a close call, 
my dear Mrs. Delancy." He was a-quiver 




62 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



with new sensations that were sending his 
spirits sky high. After all it was not turn- 
ing out so badly. 

"He would have dragged me down had 
it not been for you. And I might have been 
torn to pieces," she shuddered, glancing 
down at the now infuriated dog. 

"It would have been appalling," he 
agreed, discreetly allowing her to imagine 
the worst. 

"How can I ever thank you.''" cried she 
impulsively. He made a very creditable 
show of embarrassment in the effort to con- 
vince her that he had accomplished only 
what any man would have attempted under 
^ similar circumstances. She was thoroughly 
I convinced that no other man could have suc- 
ceeded. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 53 



"Well, we're in a pretty position, are we 
not?" he asked in the end. 

"I think I can stick on without being 
held, Mr. Crosby," she said, and his arm 
slowly and regretfully came to parade 
rest. 

"Are you sure you won't get dizzy.?" he 
demanded in deep solicitude. 

"I'll not look down," she said, smiling 
into his eyes. He lost the power of speech 
for a moment. "May I look at those fig- 



ures now 



?» 



For the next ten minutes she studiously 
followed him as he explained the contents 
of the various papers. She held the sheets 
and they sat very close to each other on the 
big beam. The dog looked on in sour dis- 
gust. 

"They cannot be wrong," she cried at 




64 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

last. Her eyes were sparkling. "You are 
as good as an angel." 

"I only regret that I can't complete the 
illusion by unfolding a strong and conve- 
nient pair of wings," he said dolorously. 
*'How are we to catch that train for Chi- 
cago?" 

"I'm afraid we can't," she said demurely. 
''You'll miss the box party." 

"That's a pleasure easily sacrificed." 

"Besides, you are seeing me on business. 
Pleasure should never interfere with busi- 
ness, you know." 

"It doesn't seem to," he said, and the 
dog saw them smile tranquilly into each 
other's eyes. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 55 

"Oh, isn't this too funny for words?" 
He looked very grateful. 

*'I wonder when Austin will condescend to 
release us." 

"I have come to a decision, Mr. Crosby," 
she said irrelevantly. 

"Indeed?" 

"I shall never speak to Robert Austin 
again, and I'll never enter his house as long 
as I live," she announced determinedly. 

"Good! But you forget your personal 
effects. They are in his house." He was 
overflowing with happiness. 

"They have all gone to the depot and I 
have the baggage checks. My ticket and 




56 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



my money are in this purse. You see, we 
are quite on the same footing." 

"I don't feel sure of my footing," he 
commented ruefully. "By the way, I have 
a fountain pen. Would you mind signing 
these papers.'' We'll be quite sure of our 
standing at least." 

She deliberately spread out the papers on 
the beam, and, while he obligingly kept her 
from falling, signed seven documents in a 
full, decisive hand: "Louise Hampton 
Delancy." 

"There! That means that you are to 
begin suit," she said finally, handing the 
pen to him. 

"I'll not waste an instant," he said 





SHE DELIBERATELY SPREAD OUT THE PAPERS ON THE 
BEAM." 



THE DAY OF THE DOG 57 

meaningly. "In fact, the suit is already 
under way." 

"I don't understand you," she said, but 
she flushed. 

"That's what a lawyer says when he goes 
to court," he explained. 

"Oh," she said, thoroughly convinced. 



At the end of another hour the two on 
the beam were looking at each other with 
troubled eyes. When he glanced at his 
watch at six o'clock, his face was extremely 
sober. There was a tired, wistful expres- 
sion in her eyes. 

"Do you think they'll keep us here all 
night.'"' she asked plaintively. 




68 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

"Heaven knows what that scoundrel will 
do." 

"We have the papers signed, at any 
rate." She sighed, trying to revive the 
dying spark of humor. 

"And we won't be lonesome," he added, 
glaring at the dog. 

"Did you ever dream that a man could be 
so despicable?" 

"Ah, here comes some one at last," he 
cried, brightening up. 

The figure of Robert Austin appeared 
in the doorway. 

"Oho, you're both up there now, are 
you.'"' he snapped. "That's why you 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 59 

didn't go to the depot, is it? Well, how 
has the business progressed?" 

"She has signed all the papers, if that's 
what you want to know," said Crosby tan- 
talizingly. 

"That's all the good it will do her. We'll 
beat you in court, Mr. Crosby, and we won't 
leave a dollar for you, my dear sister-in- 
law," snarled Austin, his face white with 
rage. 

"And now that we've settled our business, 
and missed our train, perhaps you'll call off 
your confounded dog," said Crosby. 
Austin's face broke into a wide grin, and he 
chuckled aloud. Then he leaned against 
the door-post and held his sides. 



60 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

"What's the joke?" demanded the irate 
Crosby. Mrs. Delancy clasped his arm and 
looked down upon Austin as if he had sud- 
denly gone mad. 

"You want to come down, eh.?" cackled 
Austin. "Why don't you come down? I 
know you'll pardon my laughter, but I have 
just remembered that you may be a horse 
thief and that I was not going to let you 
escape. Mrs. Delancy refuses to speak 
to me, so I decline to ask her to come 
down." 

"Do you mean to say you'll keep this 

lady up here for — ^" began Crosby fiercely. 

Her hand on his arm prevented him from 

leaping to the floor. 

J "She may come down when she desires, 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 61 

and so may you, sir," roared Austin 
stormily. 

"But some one will release us, curse you, 
and then I'U make you sorry you ever 
lived," hissed Crosby, "You are a black- 
hearted cur, a cowardly dog " 

"Don't — don't!" whispered the timid 
woman beside him. 

"You are helping your cause beauti- 
fully," sneered Austin. "My men have in- 
structions to stay away from the barn until 
the marshal comes. I, myself, expect to 
feed and bed the horses." 

Deliberately he went about the task of 
feeding the horses. The two on the beam 
looked on in helpless silence. Crosby had 
murder in his heart. At last the 




62 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

master of the situation started for the 
door. 

"Good-night," he said sarcastically. 
"Pleasant dreams." 

"You brute," cried Crosby, hoarse with 
anger. A sob came from his tired com- 
panion and Crosby turned to her, his heart 
full of tenderness and — shame, perhaps. 
Tears were streaming down her cheeks and 
her shoulders drooped dejectedly. 

"What shall we do.''" she moaned. 
Crosby could frame no answer. He gently 
took her hand in his and held it tightly. 
She made no effort to withdraw it. 

"I'm awfully sorry," he said softly. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 63 

"Don't cry, little woman. It will all end 
right, I know." 

Just then Austin reentered the barn. 
Without a word he strode over and emptied 
a pan of raw meat on the floor in front of 
the dog. Then he calmly departed, but 
Crosby could have sworn he heard him 
chuckle. The captives looked at each other 
dumbly for a full minute, one with wet, 
wide-open, hurt eyes, the other with con- 
sternation. Gradually the sober light in 
their eyes faded away and feeble smiles de- 
veloped into peals of laughter. The irony 
of the situation bore down upon them irre- 
sistibly and their genuine, healthy young 




64 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

minds saw the picture in all of its ludicrous 
colorings. Not even the prospect of a 
night in mid-air could conquer the wild de- 
sire to laugh. 

"Isn't it too funny for words?" she 
laughed bravely through her tears. 

Then, for some reason, both relapsed into 
dark, silent contemplation of the dog who 
was so calmly enjoying his evening repast. 

"I am sorry to admit it, Mr. Crosby, but 
I am growing frightfully hungry," she 
said wistfully. 

"It has just occurred to me that I haven't 
eaten a bite since seven o'clock this morn- 
ing," he said. 

"You poor man ! I wish I could cook 
something for you." 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 65 

"You might learn." 

"You know what I mean," she explained, 
reddening a bit. "You must be nearly 
famished." 

"I prefer to think of something more in- 
teresting," he said coolly. 

"It is horrid!" she sobbed. "See, it is 
getting dark. Night is coming. Mr. 
Crosby, what is to become of us?" He was 
very much distressed by her tears and a des- 
perate resolve took root in his breast. She 
was so tired and dispirited that she seemed 
glad when he drew her close to him and 
pressed her head upon his shoulder. He 
heard the long sigh of relief and relaxation 
and she peered curiously over her wet lace 
handkerchief when he muttered tenderly: 



I 




66 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



"Poor little chap !" 

Then she sighed again quite securely, 
and there was a long silence, broken regu- 
larly and rhythmically by the faint little 
catches that once were tearful sobs. 

"Oh, dear me! It is quite dark," she 
cried suddenly, and he felt a shudder run 
through her body. 

"Where could you go to-night, Mrs. 
Delancy, if we were to succeed in getting 
away from here.?" he asked abruptly. 
She felt his figure straighten and his arm 
grow tense as if a sudden determination had 
charged through it. 

"Why — why, I hadn't thought about 
that," she confessed, confronted by a new 
I proposition. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 67 



"There's a late night train for Chicago," 
he volunteered. 

"But how are we to catch it?" 

"If you are willing to walk to town I 
think you can catch it," he said, a strange 
ring in his voice. 

"What do you mean.''" she demanded, 
looking up at his face quickly. 

"Can you walk the two miles.?" he per- 
sisted. "The train leaves Dexter at eleven 
o'clock and it is now nearly eight." 

"Of course I can walk it," she said 
eagerly. "I could walk a hundred miles to 
get away from this place." 

"You'll miss the New York train, of 
course." 

"I've changed my mind, Mr. Crosby. I 




68 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

shall remain in Chicago until we have had 
our revenge on Austin and the others." 

"That's very good of you. May I ask 
where you stop in Chicago.'"' 

"My apartments are in the C 

Building. My mother lives with me." 

"Will you come to see me some time.?" he 
asked, an odd smile on his lips. 

"Come to see you ?" she cried in surprise. 
"The idea! What do you mean,?" 

"I may not be able to call on you for 
some time, but you can be very good to me 
by coming to see me. I'll be stopping at 
St. Luke's Hospital for quite a while." 

"At St. Luke's Hospital.? I don't under- 
stand," she cried perplexed. 

"You see, my dear Mrs. Delancy, I have 
come to a definite conclusion in regard to 
our present position. You must not stay 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 69 

here all night. I'd be a coward and a cur to 
subject you to such a thing. Well, I'm 
going down to tackle that dog." 

"To — tackle — the — dog," she gasped. 

"And while I'm keeping him busy 
you are to cut and run for the road down 
there. Then you'll have easy sailing for 
town." 

"Mr. Crosby," she said firmly, clasping 
his arm; "you are not to leave this beam. 
Do you think I'll permit you to go down 
there and be torn to pieces by that beast, 
just for the sake of letting me cut and run, 
as you call it? I'd be a bigger brute than 
the dog and — and " 

"Mrs. Deiancy, my mind is made up. 
I'm going down !" 

"That settles it! I'm coming too," she 
proclaimed emphatically. 




70 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



"To be sure. That's the plan. You'll 
escape while I hold Swallow." 

"I'll do nothing of the sort. You shall 
not sacrifice yourself for my sake. I'd stay 
up here with you all the rest of my life 
before I'd permit you to do that." 

"I'll remind you of that offer later on, 
my dear Mrs. Delancy, when we are not 
so pressed for time. Just now you must 
be practical, however. We can't stay up 
here all night." 

"Please, Mr. Crosby, for my sake, don't 
go down there. To please me, don't be dis- 
figured. I know you are awfully brave and 
strong, but he is such a huge, vicious dog. 
Won't you please stay here.'"' 

"Ten minutes from now it will be too 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 71 



dark to see the dog and he'll have an ad- 
vantage over me. Listen : I'll meet you at 
the depot in an hour and a half. This is 
final, Mrs. Delancy. Will you do as I tell 
you.'' Run for the road and then to town. 
I'll promise to join you there." 

"Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" she moaned, as 
he drew away from her and swung one foot 
to the ladder. "I shall die if you go down 
there." 

"I am going just the same. Don't be 
afraid, little woman. My pocket knife is 
open and it is a trusty blade. Now, be 
brave and be quick. Follow me down the 
ladder and cut for it." 

"Please, please, please!" she implored, 
wringing her hands. 




72 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

But he was already half-way down the 
ladder and refused to stop. 

Suddenly Crosby paused as if checked 
in his progress by some insurmountable ob- 
stacle. The dog was at the foot of the lad- 
der, snarling with joy over the prospective 
end of his long vigil. Above, Mrs. Delancy 
was moaning and imploring him to come 
back to her side, even threatening to spring 
from the beam to the floor before he could 
reach the bottom. 

"By George!" he exclaimed, and then 
climbed up three or four rounds of the lad- 
der, greatly to the annoyance of the dog. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 73 

"What is it?" cried Mrs. Delancy, re- 
covering her balance on the beam. 

"Let me think for a minute," he an- 
swered, deliberately resting his elbow on an 
upper round. 

"It is about time you were doing a little 
thinking," she said, relief and asperity in 
her voice. "In another second I should have 
jumped into that dog's jaws." 

"I beheve it can be done," he went on, ex- 
cited enthusiasm growing in his voice. 
"That's what bulldogs are famous for, isn't 
it.?" 

"I don't know what you are talking 
about, but I do know that whenever they 
take hold of anything they have to be 




74 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

treated for lockjaw before they will let go. 
If you don't come up here beside me I'll 
have a fit, Mr. Crosby." 

"That's it— that's what I mean," he 
cried eagerly. "If they close those jaws 
upon anything they won't let go until death 
them doth part. Gad, I believe I see a way 
out of this pickle." 

"I don't see how that can help us. The 
dog's jaws are the one and only obstacle, 
and it is usually the other fellow's death 
that parts them. Oh," she went on, plain- 
tively, "if we could only pull his teeth. 
Good heaven, Mr. Crosby," sitting up very 
abruptly, "you are not thinking of under- 
taking it, are you.''" 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 75 

**No, but I've got a scheme that will make 
Swallow ashamed of himself to the end of 
his days. I can't help laughing over it." 
He leaned back and laughed heartily. 
"Hold my coat, please." He removed his 
coat quickly and passed it up to her. 

"I insist on knowing what you intend do- 
ing," she exclaimed. 

"Just wait and see me show Mr. Swallow 
a new trick or two." He had already taken 
his watch and chain, his fountain pen, and 
other effects from his vest, jamming them 
into his trousers pockets. Mrs. Delancy, in 
the growing darkness, looked on, puzzled 
and anxious. 

"You might tell me," she argued resent- 




76 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



fully. "Are you going to try to swim 
out?" 

Folding the vest lengthwise, he took a 
firm grip on the collar, and cautiously de- 
scended the ladder. 

"I'll not come to the hospital," she cried 
warningly. "Don't ! he'll bite your leg 
off!" 

"I'm merely teasing him, Mrs. Delancy. 
He sha'n't harm my legs, don't fear. Now 
watch for developments." Pausing just 
beyond reach of the dog's mightiest leaps, 
he took a firm hold on the ladder and swung 
down with the vest until it almost slapped 
the head of the angry animal. It was like 
casting a fly directly at the head of a hun- 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 77 

gry pickerel. Swallow's eager jaws closed 
down upon the cloth and the teeth met like 
a vice. The heavy body of the brute almost 
jerked Crosby's arm from the socket, but 
he braced himself, recovered his poise, and 
clung gaily to the ladder, with the growl- 
ing, squirming dog dangling free of the 
floor. Mrs. Delancy gave a little shriek of 
terror. 

"Are you — going to bring him up here.'*" 
she gasped. 

"Heaven knows where he'll end." 

"But he will ruin your vest." 

"I'll charge it up to your account. Item : 
one vest, fifteen dollars." 




78 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

By this time he was swinging Swallow 
slowly back and forth, and he afterwards 
said that it required no little straining of 
his muscles. 

"You extravagant thing !" she cried, but 
did not tell whether she meant his profligacy 
in purchasing or his wantonness in destroy- 
ing, "And now, pray enlighten me. Are 
you swinging him just for fun or are you 
crazy ?" 

"Everything depends on his jaws and my 
strong right arm," he said, and he was be- 
ginning to pant from the exertion. Swal- 
low was swinging higher and higher. 

"Well, it is the most aimless proceeding I 
ever saw." 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 79 



**I hope not. On second thought, every- 
thing depends on my aim." 

"And what is your aim, Mr. Hercules.'"' 

"See that opening above the box-stall 
over there.'*" 

"Dimly." 

"That's my aim. Heavens, he's a heavy 
brute." 

"Oh, I see!" she cried ecstatically, clap- 
ping her hands. "Delicious! Lovely! Oh, 
Mr. Crosby, you are so clever." 

"Don't fall off that beam, please," he 
panted. "It might rattle me." 

"I can't help being excited. It is the 
grandest thing I ever heard of. He can't 
get out of there, can he.'* Dear me, the 
sides of that stall are more than eight feet 
high." 




80 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

**He can't — get — out — of it if — I get 
him — in," gasped Crosby. 

Not ten feet away to the left and some 
four feet above the floor level there was a 
wide opening into a box-stall, the home of 
Mr. Austin's prize stallion. As the big 
horse was inside munching his hay, Crosby 
was reasonably sure that the stall with 
its tall sides was securely closed and 
bolted. 

Suddenly there was a mighty creak of 
the ladder, the swish of a heavy body 
through the air, an interrupted growl, and 
then a ripping thud. Swallow's chubby 
body shot squarely through the opening, 





SWALLOW S CHUBBY BODY SHOT SQUARELY THROUGH 
THE OPENING." 



THE DAY OF THE DOG 81 

accompanied by a trusty though somewhat 
sadly stretched vest, and the deed was done. 
A cry of dehght came from the beam, a 
shout of pride and rehef from the ladder, 
and sounds of a terrific scramble from the 
stall. First there was a sickening grunt, 
then a surprised howl, then the banging of 
horse-hoofs, and at last a combination of 
growls and howls that proved Swallow's in- 
vasion of a hornet's nest. 

"Thunderation !" came in sharp, agon- 
ized tones from the ladder. 

"What is the matter?" she cried, detect- 
ing disaster in the exclamation. 

"I am a — a — blooming idiot," he 




82 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



groaned. "I forgot to remove a roll of bills 
from an upper pocket in that vest !" 

"Oh, is that all?" she cried, in great re- 
lief, starting down the ladder. 

"All.'' There was at least fifty dollars 
in that roll," he said, from the floor, not 
forgetting to assist her gallantly to the 
bottom. 

"You can add it to my bill, you know," 
she said sweetly. 

"But it leaves me dead broke." 

"You forget that I have money, Mr. 
Crosby. What is mine to-night is also 
yours. I think we should shake hands and 
congratulate one another." Crosby's sunny 
nature lost its cloud in an instant, and the 
I two clasped hands at the bottom of the 
ladder. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 83 



*'I think it is time to cut and run," he 
said. "It's getting so beastly dark we 
won't be able to find the road." 

"And there is no moon until midnight. 
But come ; we are free. Let us fly the hated 
spot, as they say in the real novels. How 
good the air feels !" 

She was soon leading the way swiftly 
toward the gate. Night had fallen so 
quickly that they were in utter darkness. 
There were lights in the windows of the 
house on the hill, and the escaped prisoners, 
with one impulse, shook their clenched 
hands toward them. 

"I am awfully sorry, Mr. Crosby, that 
you have endured so much hardship in com- 
ing to see me," she went on. "I hope you 
haven't many such clients as I." 




84 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

"One is enough, I assure you," he re- 
sponded, and somehow she took it as a com- 
pliment. 

"I suppose our next step is to get to the 
railway station," she said. 

"Unless you will condescend to lead me 
through this assortment of plows, wood- 
piles, and farm-wagons, I'm inclined to 
think my next step will be my last. Was 
ever night so dark.?" Her warm, strong 
fingers clutched his arm and then dropped 
to his hand. In this fashion she led him 
swiftly through the night, down a short 
embankment, and into the gravel highway. 
"The way looks dark and grewsome ahead 
of us, Mrs. Delancy. As your lawyer, I'd 
advise you to turn back and find safe lodg- 
ing with the enemy. It is going to storm, 
I'm sure." 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 85 

"That's your advice as a lawyer, Mr. 
Crosby. Will you give me your advice as 
a friend?" she said lightly. Although the 
time had passed when her guiding hand was 
necessary, he still held the member in his 



"I couldn't be so selfish," he protested, 
and without another word they started off 
down the road toward town. 

"Do you suppose they are delaying the 
opera in Chicago until you come.'"' she 
asked. 

"Poor Graves! he said he'd kill me if I 
didn't come," said Crosby, laughing. 

"How dreadful !" 

"But I'm not regretting the opera. 
Quive does not sing until to-morrow night." 

"I adore Quive." 

"You can't possibly have an engagement 




86 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



for to-morrow night either," he said re- 
flectively. 

"I don't see how I could. I expected to 
be on a Pullman sleeper." 

"I'll come for you at 8 :15 then." 

"You are very good, Mr. Crosby, but I 
have another plan." 

"I beg your pardon for presuming to — " 
he began, and a hot flush mounted to his 
brow. 

"You are to come at seven for dinner," 
she supplemented delightedly. 

"What a nice place the seventh heaven 
is !" he cried warmly. 

"Sh !" she whispered suddenly, and both 
stopped stock-still. "There is a man with 
la lantern at the lower gate. See.? Over 
yonder." 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 87 



"What of it? Who's afraid of a lan- 
tern?" 

"But it is rather odd that the man should 
be there. Just see what he is doing with 
the lantern," she expostulated. 

"He's putting it on the top of the gate- 
post, that's all." 

"Well, there must be an object in that." 

"I'll ask the man." 

"It is foolish of me to be alarmed, Mr. 
Crosby, but I feel in my bones that some- 
thing is going to happen." 

"I agree with you, only I don't feel it in 
my bones. It affects my stomach. Why 
should we stand here and discuss a man 
with a lantern when both of us are starving 
to death by yards? We have a mile and a 
half walk ahead of us- 

"Look ! A buggy is stopping at the gate 




88 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



— and there is another. What does it 
mean ?" 

Two vehicles, dimly outlined against the 
darkness, had drawn up at the gate, and the 
man with the lantern advanced to converse 
with the occupants. 

"That you, Mr. Austin.?" called a 
voice from the first buggy, as the lantern 
advanced. 

"Yes. How many men have you with 
you.?" 

"Robert Austin!" gasped the fair 
watcher, clutching Crosby's arm. 

"There are five of us, Mr. Austin. I 
guess we can take him all right." 

Crosby started violently. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 89 

"They're after me, Mrs. Delancy," he 
whispered. A moment later they were off 
the road and in the dense shadow of the 
hedge. 

"Is he still in the barn, Mr. Austin?" 
demanded the man in the buggy. 

"I am positive he is. No human being 
could get away frOm that dog of mine." 
Crosby chuckled audibly, and Mrs. Delancy 
with difficulty suppressed a proud giggle. 

"Well, we might as well go up and get 
him then. Do you think he's a desperate 
character ?" 

"I don't know anything about him, 
Davis. He says he is a lawyer, but his 
actions were so strange that I thought you'd 



90 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



best look into his case. A night in the jail 
won't hurt him, and if he can prove that he 
is what he says he is, let him go to-morrow. 
On the other hand, he may turn out to be a 
very important capture." 

"Oh, this is rich !" whispered Croeby ex- 
citedly. "Austin is certainly doing the job 
up brown. But wait till he consults Swal- 
low, the infallible ; he won't be so positive." 
For a few minutes the party of men at the 
gate conversed in low tones, the listeners 
being able to catch but few of the words 
uttered. 

"Please let go of my arm, Mrs. De- 
lancy," said Crosby suddenly. 

"Where are you going?" 

"I am going to tell Austin what I think 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 91 



of him. You don't expect me to stand by 
and allow a pack of jays to hunt me down 
as if I were Jesse James or some other des- 
perado, do you?" 

"Do you suppose they would credit your 
story? They will throw you into jail and 
there you'd stay until some one came down 
from Chicago to identify you." 

"But a word from you would clear me," 
he said in surprise. 

"If they pinned me down to the truth, I 
could only say I had never seen you until 
this afternoon." 

"Great Scott! You know I am Crosby, 
don't you?" 

"I am positive you are, but what would 
you, as a lawyer, say to me if you were 




92 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

cross-examining me on the witness stand? 
You'd ask some very embarrassing ques- 
tions, and I could only say in the end that 
the suspected horse thief told me his name 
and I was goose enough to believe him. No, 
my dear friend, I think the safest plan is to 
take advantage of the few minutes' start we 
have and escape the law." 

**You mean that I must run from these 
fellows as if I were really a thief.'"' 

"Only a suspected thief, you know." 

"I'd rather be arrested a dozen times than 
to desert you at this time." 

"Oh, but I'm going with you," she said 
positively. 

"Like a thief, too.'' I could not permit 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 93 

that, you know. Just stop and think how 
awkward for you it would be if we were 
caught flying together." 

"Birds of a feather. It might have been 
worse if you had not disposed of Swallow." 

"I must tell you what a genuine brick 
you are. If they overtake us it will give 
me the greatest delight in the world to fight 
the whole posse for your sake." 

"After that, do you wonder I want to go 
with you.''" she whispered, and Crosby 
would have fought a hundred men for her. 

The marshal and his men were now fol- 
lowing Mr. Austin and the lantern toward 
the barn, and the road was quite deserted. 
Mrs. Delancy and Crosby started oflF 




94 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



rapidly in the direction of the town. The 
low rumble of distant thunder came to their 
ears, and ever and anon the western black- 
ness was faintly illumined by flashes of 
lightning. Neither of the fugitives uttered 
a word until they were far past the gate. 

"By George, Mrs. Delancy, we are for- 
getting one important thing," said Crosby. 
They were striding along swiftly arm in 
arm. "They'll discover our flight, and the 
railway station will be just where they'll 
expect to find us." 

"Oh, confusion ! We can't go to the sta- 
tion, can we.?" 

"We can, but we'll be captured with 
humiliating ease." 

"I know what we can do. Scott 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 95 



Higgins is the tenant on my farm, and he 
lives half a mile farther from town than 
Austin. We can turn back to his place, but 
we will have to cut across one of Mr. 
Austin's fields." 

"Charming. We can have the satisfac- 
tion of trampling on some of Mr. Austin's 
early wheat crop. Right about, face! But, 
incidentally, what are we to do after we get 
to Mr. Higgins's?" They were now scurry- 
ing back over the ground they had just 
traversed. 

"Oh, dear me, why should we think about 
troubles until we come to them.'"' 

"I wasn't thinking about troubles. I'm 
thinking about something to eat." 

"You are intensely unromantic. But 




96 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

Mrs. Higgins is awfully good. She will 
give us eggs and cakes and milk and coffee 
and — everything. Won't it be jolly?" 

Five minutes later they were plunging 
through a field of partly grown wheat, in 
what she averred to be the direction of the 
Higgins home. It was not good walking, 
but they were young and strong and very 
much interested in one another and the 
adventure. 

"Hello, what's this.? A river.?" he cried, 
as the swish of running waters came to his 
ears. 

"Oh; isn't it dreadful? I forgot this 
creek was here, and there is no bridge nearer 
than a mile. What shall we do? See there 
is a light in Higgins's house over there. 




H'M."A 




HE WAS SPLASHING THROUGH THK SHALLOW UUOOK. 



THE DAY OF THE DOG 97 

Isn't it disgusting? I could sit down and 
cry," she wailed. In the distance a dog was 
heard barking fiercely, but they did not 
recognize the voice of Swallow. A new 
trouble confronted them. 

"Don't do that," he said resignedly. 
"Remember how Eliza crossed the ice with 
the bloodhounds in full trail. Do you know 
how deep and wide the creek is?" 

"It's a tiny bit of a thing, but it's wet," 
she said ruefully. 

"I'll carry you over." And a moment 
later he was splashing through the shallow 
brook, holding the lithe, warm figure of 
his client high above the water. As he set 
her down upon the opposite bank she gave 
a pretty sigh of satisfaction, and naively 




98 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

told him that he was very strong for a man 
in the last stages of starvation. 

Two or three noisy dogs gave them the 
first welcome, and Crosby sagely looked 
aloft for refuge. His companion quieted 
the dogs, however, and the advance on the 
squat farmhouse was made without resist- 
ance. The visitors were not lohg in ac- 
quainting the good-natured and astonished 
young farmer with the situation. Mrs. 
Higgins was called from her bed and in a 
jiffy was bustling about the kitchen, from 
which soon floated odors so tantalizing that 
the refugees could scarcely suppress the de- 
sire to rush forth and storm the good cook 
in her castle. 

"It's mighty lucky you got here when 
you did, Mrs. Delancy," said Higgins, 




HAVA 



THE DAY OF THE DOG 99 



peering from the window. "Looks 's if it 
might rain before long. We ain't got much 
of a place here, but, if you'll put up with 
it, I guess we can take keer of you over 
night." 

"Oh, but we couldn't think of it," she 
protested. "After we have had something 
to eat we must hurry off to the station." 

"What station.'"' asked Crosby senten- 
tiously. 

"I don't know, but it wouldn't be a bit 
nice to spoil the adventure by stopping 
now." 

"But we can't walk all over the State 
of Illinois," he cried. 

"For shame! You are ready to give up 
the instant something to eat comes in 
sight. Mr. Higgins may be able to sug- 
gest something. What is the nearest " 



*I have it," interrupted Crosby. "The 




100 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

Wabash road runs through this neighbor- 
hood, doesn't it? Well, where is its nearest 
station ?" 

"Lonesomeville — about four miles 
south," said Higgins. 

"Do the night trains stop there?" 

"I guess you can flag 'em." 

"There's an east-bound train from St. 
Louis about midnight, I'm quite sure." 

While the fugitives were enjoying Mrs. 
Higgins's hastily but adorably prepared 
meal, the details of the second stage of the 
flight were perfected. Mr. Higgins gladly 
consented to hitch up his high-boarded farm 
wagon and drive them to the station on the 
Wabash line, and half an hour later Hig- 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 101 

gins's wagon clattered away in the night. 
To all appearances he was the only passen- 
ger. But seated on a soft pile of grain 
sacks in the rear of the wagon, completely 
hidden from view by the tall "side-beds," 
were the refugees. Mrs. Delancy insisted 
upon this mode of travel as a precaution 
against the prying eyes of persistent mar- 
shal's men. Hidden in the wagon-bed they 
might reasonably escape detection, she 
argued, and Crosby humored her for more 
reasons than one. Higgins threw a huge 
grain tarpaulin over the wagon-bed, and 
they were sure to be dry in case the rain- 
storm came as expected. It was so dark that 
neither could see the face of the other. He 




102 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

had a longing desire to take her hand into 
his, but there was something in the atmos- 
phere that warned him against such a de- 
hghtful but unnecessary proceeding. 
Naturally, they were sitting quite close to 
each other; even the severe jolting of the 
springless wagon could not disturb the feel- 
ing of happy contentment. 

"I hope it won't storm," she said ner- 
vously, as a little shudder ran through her 
body. The wind was now blowing quite 
fiercely and those long-distant rolls of thun- 
der were taking on the sinister sound of 
near-by crashes. "I don't mind thunder 
when I'm in the house." 

"And under the bed, I suppose," he 
laughed. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 103 

"Well, you know, lightning could strike 
this wagon," she persisted. "Oh, goodness, 
that was awfully close!" she cried, as a 
particularly loud crash came to their ears. 

The wagon came to an abrupt stop, and 
Crosby was about to crawl forth to demand 
the reason when the sound of a man's voice 
came through the rushing wind. 

"What is it?" whispered Mrs. Delancy, 
clutching his arm. 

"Sh !" he replied. "We're held up by 
highwaymen, I think !" 

"Oh, how lovely!" she whispered rap- 
turously. 

"How far are you goin'.?" came the 
strange voice from the night. 

"Oh, 's far ag'in as half," responded 
Higgins warily. 




104 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

"That you, Scott?" demanded the other. 

"Yep." 

"Say, Scott, gimme a ride, will you? 
Groin' as far as Lonesomeville ?" 

"What you doin' out this time o' night ?" 
demanded Higgins. 

"Lookin' for a feller that tried to steal 
Mr. Austin's horses. We thought we had 
him cornered up to the place, but he got 
away somehow. But we'll get him. Davis 
has got fifty men scouring the country, I 
bet. I been sent on to Lonesomeville to 
head him off if he tries to take a train. He's 
a purty desperate character, they say, too, 
Scott. Say, gimme a lift as far as you're 
agoin', won't you?" 



THE DAY OF THE DOG 105 

**I — I — well, I reckon so," floundered the 
helpless Higgins. 

"Really, this is getting a bit serious," 
whispered Crosby to his breathless com- 
panion. 

The deputy was now on the seat with 
Higgins, and the latter, bewildered and dis- 
mayed beyond expression, was urging his 
horses into their fastest trot. 

"How far is it to Lonesomeville ?" asked 
the deputy. 

"'Bout two mile." 

"It'll rain before we get there," said the 
other significantly. 

"I'm not afeared of rain," said Higgins. 

"What are you goin' over there this time 
o' night for.?" asked the other. "You ain't 
got much of a load." 




106 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

"I'm — I'm takin' some meat over to Mr. 
Talbert." 

"Hams?" 

"No; jest bacon," answered Scott, and 
his two hearers in the wagon-bed laughed 
silently. 

"Not many people out a night like this," 
volunteered the deputy. 

"Nope." 

"That a tarpaulin you got in the back 
of the bed.'' Jest saw it by the lightnin'." 

"Got the bacon kivered to keep it from 
gittin' wet 'n case it rains," hastily inter- 
posed Scott. He was discussing within 
himself the, advisability of knocking the 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 107 

deputy from the seat and whipping the 
team into a gallop, leaving him behind. 

"You don't mind my crawlin' under the 
tarpaulin if it rains, do you, Scott?" 

"There ain't no — no room under it, 
Harry, an' I won't allow that bacon to git 
wet under no consideration." 

A generous though nerve-racking crash 
of thunder changed the current of conver- 
sation. It drifted from the weather imme- 
diately, however, to a one-sided discussion 
of the escaped horse thief. 

"I guess he's a purty slick one," they 
heard the deputy say. "Austin said he had 
him dead to rights in his barn ! That big 




108 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



bulldog of his had him treed on a beam, but 
when we got there, just after dark, the 
darned cuss was gone, an' the dog was 
trapped up in a box-stall. By thunder, it 
showed how desperate the feller is. He evi- 
dently come down from that beam an' jest 
naturally picked that turrible bulldog up 
by the neck an' throwed him over into the 
stall." 

"Have you got a revolver.'"' asked Hig- 
gins loudly. 

"Sure! You don't s'pose I'd go up 
against that kind of a man without a gun, 
do you.?" 

"Oh, goodness!" some one whispered in 
Crosby's ear. 

"But he ain't armed," argued Higgins. 
"If he'd had a gun don't you s'pose he'd 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 109 



shot that dog an' got away long before he 
did?" 

"That shows how much you know about 
these crooks, Higgins," said the other 
loftily. "He had a mighty good reason for 
not shooting the dog." 

"What was the reason.?" 

"I don't know jest what it was, but any 
darned fool ought to see that he had a rea- 
son. Tllse why didn't he shoot? Course 
he had a reason. But the funny part of the 
whole thing is what has become of the 
woman." 

"What woman?" 

"That widder," responded the other, 
and Crosby felt her arm harden. "I never 
thought much o' that woman. You'd think 
she owned the whole town of Dexter to see 




110 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

her paradin' around the streets, showin' off 
her city clothes, an' all such stuff. They do 
say she led George Delancy a devil of a 
life, an' it's no wonder he died." 

"The wretch !" came from the rear of the 
wagon. 

"Well, she's up and skipped out with the 
horse thief. Austin says she tried to pro- 
tect him, and I guess they had a regular 
family row over the affair. She's gone an' 
the man's gone, an' it looks darned suspi- 
cious. He was a good-lookin' feller, Austin 
says, an' she's dead crazy to git another 
man, I've heard. Dang me, it's jest as I 
said to Davis : I wouldn't put it above her 
to take up with this good-lookin' thief an* 
skip off with him. Her husband's been 
dead more'n two year, an' she's too darned 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 111 

purty to stay in strict mournin' longer'n 
she has to " 

But just then something strong, firm, 
and resistless grasped his neck from behind, 
and, even as he opened his mouth to gasp 
out his surprise and alarm, a vise-like grip 
shut down on his thigh, and then, he was 
jerked backward, lifted upward, tossed out- 
ward, falling downward. The wagon clat- 
tered off in the night, and a tall man and a 
woman looked over the side of the wagon- 
bed and waited for the next flash of light- 
ning to show them where the official gos- 
siper had fallen. The long, blinding, flash 
came, and Crosby saw the man as he picked 
himself from the ditch at the roadside. 

"Whip up, Higgins, and we'll leave him 
so far behind he'll never catch us," cried 
Crosby eagerly. The first drops of rain 




112 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



began to fall and Mrs. Delancy hurriedly 
crawled beneath the tarpaulin, urging him 
to follow at once. Another flash of light- 
ning revealed the deputy, far back in the 
road waving his hands frantically. 

"I'm glad his neck isn't broken. Hurry 
on, Mr. Higgins ; it is now more urgent 
than ever that you save your bacon." 

"'Tain't very comfortable ridin' for Mrs. 
Delancy," apologized Higgins, his horses 
in a lope. 

"If the marshal asks you why you didn't 
stop and help his deputy, just tell him that 
the desperado held a pistol at your head 
and commanded you to drive like the devil. 
Holy mackerel, here comes the deluge!" 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 113 



An instant later he was under the tarpauHn, 
crouching beside his fellow fugitive. Con- 
versation was impossible, so great was the 
noise of the rain-storm and the rattle of the 
wagon over the hard pike. He did his best 
to protect her from the jars and bumps 
incident to the leaping and jolting of the 
wagon, and both were filled with rejoicing 
when Higgins shouted "Whoa!" to the 
horses and brought the wild ride to an end. 

"Where are we.?" cried Crosby, sticking 
his head from beneath the tarpaulin. 

"We're in the dump-shed of the grain 
elevator, just across the track from the 
depot." 

"And the ride is over.?" 




114 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



"Yep. Did you get bumped much?" 

"It was worse, a thousand times, than 
sitting on the beam," bemoaned a sweet, 
tired voice, and a moment later the two 
refugees stood erect in the wagon, neither 
quite sure that legs so tired and stiff could 
serve as support. 

"It was awful; wasn't it?" Crosby said, 
stretching himself painfully. 

"Are you not drenched to the skin, Mr. 
Higgins?" cried Mrs. Delancy anxiously. 
"How selfish of us not to have thought of 
you before!" 

"Oh, that's all right. This gum coat 
kept me purty dry." 

He and Crosby assisted her from the 
wagon, and, while the former gave his 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 115 



attention to the wet and shivering horses, 
the latter took her arm and walked up 
and down the dark shed with her. 

"I think you are regretting the impulse 
that urged you into this folly," he was say- 
ing. 

"If you persist in accusing me of faint- 
heartedness, Mr. Crosby, I'll never speak to 
you again," she said. "I cast my lot with 
a desperado, as the deputy insinuated, and 
I am sure you have not heard me bewail my 
fate. Isn't it worth something to have one 
day and night of real adventure.'* My gown 
must be a sight, and I know my hair is just 
dreadful, but my heart is gayer and bright- 
er to-night than it has been in years." 

"And you don't regret anything that has 




116 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

happened?" he asked, pressing her arm 
ever so sHghtly. 

"My only regret is that you heard what 
the deputy said about me. You don't be- 
lieve I am like that, do you?" There was 
sweet womanly concern in her voice. 

"I wish it were light enough to see your 
face," he answered, his lips close to her ear. 
*'I know you are blushing, and you must be 
more beautiful — Oh, no, of course I don't 
think you are at all as he painted you," he 
concluded, suddenly checking himself and 
answering the plaintive question he had 
almost ignored. 

"Thank you, kind sir," she said lightly, 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 117 

but he failed not to observe the tinge of con- 
fusion in the laugh that followed. 

"If you'll watch the team, Mr. Crosby," 
the voice of Higgins broke in at this timely 
juncture, "I'll run acrost to the depot an' 
ast about the train." 

"Much obliged, old man ; much obliged," 
returned Crosby affably. "Are you afraid 
to be alone in the dark?" he asked, as Hig- 
gins rushed out into the rain. The storm 
had abated by this time and there was but 
the faintest suggestion of distant thunder 
and lightning, the after-fall of rain being 
little more than a drizzle. 

"Awfully," she confessed, "but it's safer 
here than on the beam," she added, and his 



118 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

heart grew very tender as he detected the 
fatigue in her voice. "Anyhow, we have 
the papers safely signed." 

"Mrs. Delancy, I — I swear that you 
shall never regret this day and night," he 
said, stopping in his walk and placing his 
hands on her shoulders. She caught her 
breath quickly. "Do you know what I 
mean ?" 

"I — I think — I'm not quite sure," she 
stammered. 

"You will know some day," he said 
huskily. 

When Mr. Higgins appeared at the end 
of the shed, carrying a lighted lantern, he 
saw a tall young man and a tall young 
woman standing side by side, awaiting his 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 119 

approach with the unconcern of persons 
who have no interest in common. 

"Ah, a lantern," cried Crosby. "Now 
we can see what we look like and — and who 
we are." 

Higgins informed them that an east- 
bound passenger train went through in 
twenty minutes, stopping on the side track 
to allow west-bound No. 7 to pass. This 
train also took water near the bridge which 
crossed the river just west of the depot. The 
west-bound train was on time, the other 
about five minutes late. He brought the wel- 
come news that the rain was over and that a 
few stars were peeping through the western 
sky. There was unwelcome news, however, 
in the statement that the mud was ankle 




120 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



deep from the elevator to the station plat- 
form and that the washing out of a street 
culvert would prevent him from using the 
wagon. 

"I don't mind the mud," said Mrs. 
Delancy, very bravely indeed. 

"My dear Mrs. Delancy, I can and will 
carry you a mile or more rather than have 
one atom of Lonesomeville mud bespatter 
those charming boots of yours," said 
Crosby cheerfully, and her protestations 
were useless against the argument of both 
men. 

The distance was not great from the 
sheds to the station and was soon covered. 
Crosby was muddy to his knees, but his fair 
passenger was as dry as toast when he 
lowered her to the platform. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 121 



"You are every bit as strong as the hero 
in the modern novel," she said gaily. 
"After this, I'll believe every word the 
author says about his stalwart, indomitable 
hero." 

To say that Higgins was glad to be 
homeward bound would be putting it too 
mildly. The sigh of relief that came from 
him as he drove out of town a few minutes 
later was so audible that he heard it himself 
and smiled contentedly. If he expected to 
meet the unlamented Harry Brown on the 
home trip, he was to be agreeably disap- 
pointed. Mr. Brown was not on the road- 
way. He was, instead, on the depot plat- 
form at Lonesomeville, and when the 
westbound express train whistled for the 
station he was standing grimly in front of 




122 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



two dumbfounded young people who sat 
sleepily and unwarily on a baggage truck. 

The feeble-eyed lantern sat on the plat- 
form near Crosby's swinging feet, and the 
picture that it looked upon was one sugges- 
tive of the cheap, sensational, and blood- 
curdling border drama. A mud-covered 
man stood before the trapped fugitives, a 
huge revolver in his hand, the muzzle of 
which, even though it wobbled painfully, 
was uncomfortably close to Mr. Crosby's 
nose. 

"Throw up your hands !" said Brown, his 
hoarse voice shaking perceptibly. Crosby's 
hands went up instantly, for he was a man 
and a diplomat. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 123 

"Point it the other way !" cried the lady, 
with true feminine tact. "How dare you! 
— Oh, will it go off? Please, please put it 
away ! We won't try to escape !" 

"Pm takin' no chances on this feller," 
said Brown grimly. "It won't go off, 
ma'am, unless he makes a move to git 
away." 

"What do you want.-"' demanded Crosby 
indignantly. "My money.'' Take it, if 
you like, but don't be long about it." 

"I'm no robber, darn you." 

"Well, what in thunder do you mean then 




124 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

by holding me up at the point of a revol- 
ver?" 

"I'm an officer of the law an' I arrest 
you. That's what I'm here for," said 
Brown. 

"Arrest me.f"' exclaimed Crosby in great 
amazement. "What have I done.'"' 

"No back talk now, young feller. You're 
the man we're after, an' it won't do you 
any good to chew the rag about it." 

"If you don't turn that horrid pistol 
away, I'll faint," cried femininity in col- 
lapse. Crosby's arm went about her waist 
and she hid her terror-stricken eyes on his 
shoulder. 

"Keep that hand up !" cried Brown 
threateningly. 

"Don't be mean about it, old man. Can't 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 125 



you see that my arm is not at all danger- 
ous ?" 

"I've got to search you." 

"Search me? Well, I guess not. Where 
is your authority?" 

"I'm a deputy marshal from Dexter." 

"Have you been sworn in, sir?" 

"Aw, that's all right now. No more rag 
chewin' out of you. That'll do you! Keep 
your hands up !" 

"What am I charged with ?" 

"Attempted horse stealin', an' you know 
it." 

"Have you a warrant? What is my 
name ?" 

"That'll do you now ; that'll do you." 

*'See here, my fine friend, you've made 
a sad mistake. I'm not the man you want. 
I'm ready to go to jail, if you insist, but it 
will cost you every dollar you have in the 




126 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



world. I'll make you pay dearly for call- 
ing an honest man a thief, sir." Crosby's 
indignation was beautifully assumed and it 
took effect. 

"Mr. Austin is the man who ordered your 
arrest," he explained. "I know Mrs. 
Delancy here all right, an' she left 
Austin's with you." 

"What are you talking about, man? 
She is my cousin and drove over here thia 
evening to see me between trains. I think 
you'd better lower your gun, my friend. 
This will go mighty hard with you." 

"But " 

"He has you confused with that horse 
thief who said his name was Crosby, Tom," 



i 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 127 

said she, pinching his arm deHghtedly. 
"He was the worst-looking brute I ever 
saw. I thought Mr. Austin had him so 
secure with the bulldog as guardian. Did 
he escape.'"' 

"Yes, an' you went with him," exclaimed 
Brown, making a final stand. "An' I know 
all about how you come over here in Scott 
Higgins's wagon too." 

"The man is crazy!" exclaimed Mrs. 
Delancy. 

"He may have escaped from the asylum 
up north of here," whispered Crosby, loud 
enough for the deputy to hear. 

"Here comes the train," cried she. "Now 
we can ask the train men to disarm him and 




128 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

send him back to the asylum. Isn't it awful 
that such dangerous people can be at 
large?" 

Brown lowered his pistol as the engine 
thundered past. The pilot was almost in 
the long bridge at the end of the depot 
when the train stopped to wait for the east- 
bound express to pass. The instant that 
Brown's revolver arm was lowered and his 
head turned with uncertainty to look at the 
train, Crosby's hand went to his coat pock- 
et, and when the deputy turned toward him 
again he found himself looking into the 
shiny, glittering barrel of a pistol. 

"Throw that gun away, my friend," 
said Crosby in a low tone, "or I'll blow your 
brains out." 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 129 

**Great Scott!" gasped Brown. 

"Throw it away !" 

"Don't kill him," pleaded Mrs, Delancy. 
Brown's knees were shaking like leaves and 
his teeth chattered. His revolver sailed 
through the air and clattered on the brick 
pavement beyond the end of the plat- 
form. 

"Don't shoot," he pleaded, ready to drop 
to his knees. 

"I won't if you are good and kind and 
obliging," said Crosby sternly. "Turn 
around — face the engine. That's right. 
Now listen to me. I've got this pistol 
jammed squarely against your back, and if 
you make a false move — well, you won't 



[CRomj^THrjjEpyT 




Hi*VA 



130 THE DAY OF THE DOG 



have time to regret it. Answer my ques- 
tions too. How long is that bridge.?" 

"I — I do — don't kno — ow." 

"It's rather long, isn't it.?" 

"With the fill and trestle it's nearly half 
a mile." 

"What is the next stop west of here for 
this train.?" 

"Hopville, forty mile west." 

"Where does the east-bound train stop 
next after leaving here?" 

"It don't stop till it gits over in 
Indiana, thirty mile or more." 

"I'm much obliged to you. Now walk 
straight ahead until you come to the blind 
end of the mail car." 

At the front end of the mail car Crosby 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 131 



and his prisoner halted. Every one knows 
that the head end of the coach just back of 
the engine tender is "blind." That is, there 
is no door leading to the interior, and one 
must stand outside on the narrow platform 
if, perchance, he is there when the train 
starts. As the east-bound train pulled in 
from the bridge, coming to a stop on the 
track beyond the west-bound train, Crosby 
commanded his erstwhile captor to climb 
aboard the blind end of the mail 
coach. 

"Geewhillikers, don't make me do that," 
groaned the unhappy Brown. 

"Get aboard and don't argue. You can 
come back to-morrow, you know, and you're 
perfectly safe if you stay awake and don't 




132 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

roll off. Hurry up! If you try to jump 
off before you reach the bridge I'll shoot." 

A moment later the train pulled into the 
bridge and Crosby hurried back to his anx- 
ious companion. Brown was on his way to 
a station forty miles west, and he did not 
dare risk jumping off. By the time the 
train reached the far end of the bridge it 
was running forty miles an hour. 

"Where is he?" she cried in alarm as he 
rushed with her across the intervening space 
to the coveted "east-bound." 

"I'll tell you all about it when we get 
inside this train," he answered. "I think 
Brown is where he can't telegraph to head 
us off any place along the line, and if we 
once get into Indiana we are comparatively 
safe. Up you go !" and he lifted her up the 
car steps. 




TKE DAY OF THE DOG 133 



"Safe," she sighed, as they dropped into 
a seat in a coach. 

"I'm ashamed to mention it, my dear ac- 
complice, but are you quite sure you have 
your purse with you? With the usual luck 
of a common thief, I am penniless." 

"Penniless because you gave your for- 
tune to the cause of freedom," she supple- 
mented, fumbling in her chatelaine bag for 
her purse. "Here it is. The contents are 
yours until the end of our romance." 

The conductor took fare from him to 
Lafayette and informed the mud-covered 
gentleman that he could get a train from 
that city to Chicago at 2:30 in the morn- 
ing. 

"We're all right now," said Crosby after 
the conductor had passed on. "You are 



Hv»VA 




134 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

tired, little woman. Lie back and go to 
sleep. The rough part of the adventure is 
almost over." He secured a pillow for her, 
and she was soon resting as comfortably as 
it was possible in the day coach of a pas- 
senger train. 

For many minutes he sat beside her, his 
eyes resting on the beautiful tired face with 
its closed eyes, long lashes, pensive mouth, 
and its frame of dark hair, disarranged and 
wild. 

"It's strange," he thought, almost aloud, 
"how suddenly it comes to a fellow. Twelve 
hours ago I was as free as a bird in the air, 
and now " 





" 'good HEAVENS !' 'wHATISIT?' HE CRIED. S'OU ARE 
NOT MARRIED, ARE VOU ?' " 



THE DAY OF THE DOG 135 



Just then her eyes opened widely with a 
start, as if she had suddenly come from a 
rather terrifying dream. They looked 
squarely into his, and he felt so abashed 
that he was about to turn away when, with 
a little catch in her voice, she exclaimed: 

"Good heavens !" 

"What is it?" he cried. 

"You are not married, are you.'"' 

"NO! ! !" 

Like a culprit caught she blushed furi- 
ously, and her eyes wavered as the lids 
fell, shutting from his eager, surprised 
gaze the prettiest confusion in the 
world. 




136 THE DAY OF THE DOG 

"I — It just occurred to me to ask," she 
murmured. 

Crosby's exhilaration was so great that, 
after a long, hungry look at the peaceful 
face, he jumped up and went out into the 
vestibule, where he whistled with all the 
ardor of a school-boy. When he returned 
to his seat beside her she was awake, and the 
little look of distress left her face when he 
appeared, a happy smile succeeding. 

"I thought you had deserted me," she 
said. 

"Perish the thought." 

"Mr. Crosby, if you had a pistol all the 
time we were in the barn, why did you not 
shoot the dog and free us hours before you 
did.^*" she asked sternly. 




THE DAY OF THE DOG 137 

"I had no pistol," he grinned. From his 
pocket he drew a nickel-plated menthol in- 
haler and calmly leveled it at her head. "It 
looked very much like a pistol in the dark- 
ness," he said, "and it deserves a place 
among the cherished relics descending from 
our romance." 

The next night two happy, contented 
persons sat in a brilliant Chicago theatre, 
and there was nothing in their appearance 
to indicate that the day and night before 
had been the most strenuous in their lives. 

"This is more comfortable than a cross 
beam in a barn," she smiled. 

"But it is more public," he responded. 

Three months later — but Crosby won 
both suits. 





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